Announcements when I am home


Active Member
I am running Homeseer, and also have DooMotion and the Roc Outlook interface.

I have Homeseer reminding me of certain todos around the house (i.e. take out the garbage spoken at 7:30pm on Tuesday nights). How can I rig it so that the announcements are only made when there is occupancy or when the system is set to Occupied then speak the announcement?

We may need some more details, but this should get you started.

Do you already have a device that indicates occupancy? Basically you need a simple on/off device to use as your condition test.

If you are using HS events (as opposed to scripts), then you just need to add a condition to check that virtual device and use the "AND" feature. So that you wind up with something along the lines of: "If todays is trash day AND Jim_is_home is ON THEN speak "Oh Jim, time to take out the trash honey"

You can do the same thing with scripts, but it may be easier to wrap your hands around an event first. It is also possible to use multiple occupancy flags so the messages are only announced when the right person is home. Multiple occupancy flags require some human intervention (turning on a certain switch to indicate you are home) or RFID, simple motions sensors probably won't cut it.
What if you have the announcement start at 7:30 and repeat every half hour until you acknowledge that you heard it by pushing a button or something? This not only covers you if you are not home but also if you miss it because you have the TV too loud or something.
My alarm system denotes occupancy. If it's not in away mode - someone is home. Also monitors motion detectors for motion - as well as TVs, music, etc. (the TiVo status is a good one - if TiVo IR commands are issued - it knows we're home watching TV).

That said, upstatemike is right... you need a method to acknowledge the message, otherwise you'll never know if it was received or not.

I use my HV Pro to display a message on my TVs. If the message on the TV is acknowledged - then we know it's received. Until that point, it treats it as unanswered. However, it knows if we're home, or away whether it's an issue or not.
I am looking to avoid having to push a button of some sort to acknowledge that I heard the message. I can set up a condition that looks for Jim_is_home to be on AND a certain time, but if I am not there, the AND condition is not met and nothing will be spoken. I have something similar to this with my voice mail - when a message is left, Messages_Waiting is turned on and when motion is detected in the house, "You have messages waiting" is announced. Here, though, I have a button to turn it off, because when I listed to my messages, Messages_Waiting is turned off.

I am thinking along the lines of a message queue. Homeseer will collect any messages that would have be spoken when I was out, and then announce them when it detects motion in the house. Much less interaction with the PC and would seem to be very WAF friendly.

My wife tolerates the HA (when it's working). Telling her to start pushing buttons to turn off an announcement could start downtrending the WAF...
that's valid. You could add additional conditions to ensure it's heard... such as TV is off, stereo is off, motion detected in the kitchen (if that's where your announcement speaker is), etc.